Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union

Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union

Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union

Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union

Excerpt

In the industrial societies of Europe and the United States, as in the developing countries of the Third World, the relationship between changes in women's economic roles and changes in the structure and functions of the family has attracted growing attention from social scientists and policy-makers alike. The scope and pattern of female employment, it is increasingly recognized, exert a critical influence on many other aspects of economic and social behavior, and most importantly on fertility.

In virtually all industrial societies, rising levels of female labor force participation have been accompanied by rising divorce rates and declining birthrates, provoking widespread anxiety among many observers that the family itself is threatened by current trends. Throughout Western Europe, and now in the United States as well, a whole array of economic and social programs is being reassessed with a view to their impact on family stability and size. For policy analysts concerned with the Third World, on the other hand, these linkages present an opportunity rather than a problem: they hold out the prospect that development strategies which enhance the educa-

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